Writing about fitness for Bikini.com means working out can sometimes be my job—and this year, I really went for it, training like a Victoria's Secret model with celeb trainer Robert Brace. While I learned a whole lot about getting fit, the expert advice that stuck with me with most, and one that remains a motto with me now while I work out solo, is Brace's insistence on perfect form. He argued that two perfect sit-ups were worth more than 25 crappy ones (and man, was I good at those crappy ones!), and showed me the difference in each push-up, kick back, and squat that I did. MODELfit trainer Rosie Chann agrees. "When you feel yourself slipping away from proper form—especially in a class setting—than take a break to reset yourself. Don't be afraid to ask your instructor or trainer questions. We are always happy to help!"

When you perfect your form, your body works harder, and the muscles that you're isolating are truly transforming, which usually means you see results faster. Since we're quickly approaching ground zero for New Year's resolutions, I thought I'd share some expert tips on a few go-to gym moves, gleaned from some of the star trainers I had the chance to work out with this year. 

Tricep Kickback—Robert Brace

The tricep kickback can be a very effective exercise for developing definition at the back of your arms. However, if done incorrectly you can end up recruiting the wrong muscles and straining your neck, and shoulders. Follow these instructions for correct form.
·      Place your left knee and lower leg on a bench.
·      Place your left hand on the bench keeping your body at a 45 degree angle.
·      If you don’t have a bench, bend your left leg to a 45 degree angle.
·      Then place your left hand on your left knee for support.
·      Hold the dumbbell in your right hand with your palm facing inwards towards your body. Your upper arm (shoulder to elbow) should be parallel with the floor. Your lower arm (elbow to hand) will hang perpendicular straight down to the floor.
·      Fully extend your lower arm straight back so that your whole arm is straight and parallel to the floor. Be careful not to lock your elbow.
·      Keep your shoulders down. Squeeze your triceps.
·      Carefully lower the weight back to the starting position.

Plank — Rosalia Chann

Training from plank position (from the elbows or hands) is a challenging, fun and effective way to work the core, as well as upper-body strength and muscular endurance. This is a great exercise (along with progressions) as long as you maintain the form. Some common mistakes that I see are hips raising to the ceiling, shoulders raising up around the ears and/or hips dipping to the floor, creating an arched lower back. 

Here's how to find your perfect plank: be sure that your body stays parallel to the floor and that the shoulders stay pulled down away from the ears, keeping it out of the neck. One of my favorite tricks is to have clients squeeze their ankles together, creating constant tension through the inner thighs and glutes, taking pressure out of the low back and allowing the abs to feel the burn. 

Basic Jump — Amanda Kloots

Just a basic skip with a jump rope can be done so wrong. Clients arch their backs, tense their shoulders, and jump way to high. When your form is incorrect, jumping rope is twice as hard, leaves you exhausted in seconds, and can cause injuries. Here's how you get it right: Turn to your side and look in the mirror. Keep your shoulders right over your hips, hips over your knees, and knees over toes. Now face front. Bring your elbow to your waist and hold your arms in a bent 90 degree position which will keep your biceps engaged. Abs draw back toward your spine and hold them tight as you start to jump.